Chief Operating Officer
LA Promise Fund
Sitting in a room with people who are as passionate about education as you are, that motivates you. It's incredibly fulfilling to use my skills to make an impact for students.
Growing up in an immigrant family in Southern California, Nolberto Delgadillo learned early on what it was like to be underestimated. “I really wasn’t sure what it meant to succeed,” he said. “But I knew that I wanted to prove people wrong about what it meant to be from Compton.”
Experiencing the sting of prejudice instilled in Nolberto a desire to rise above stereotypes. His parents encouraged him to work hard, regularly reminding him why they left Mexico. Nolberto recalls his parents saying, “We came to this country to give you opportunities, so you have to take advantage of them. You need to go be a doctor, an attorney, a rocket scientist. Go be something.”
So he did. Nolberto was accepted into a highly competitive STEM magnet and began taking college courses as a high school junior. After earning an M.B.A., he embarked on a career in biotechnology and healthcare. With nearly a decade in management under his belt, he felt fortunate to have “a good paying job, traveling around the country, seeing different places… but I just felt something was missing.”
He always knew he wanted to help improve opportunities for others, so Nolberto began mentoring first-generation students at his old high school. It was during this time that he first heard about The Broad Residency. “To work in education, I thought you had to be a teacher or principal,” he said. “As I did more research into the Residency, I found a whole world of opportunities for people with my skill sets who are passionate about education.”
During his Residency, Nolberto was a cluster business manager with Green Dot Public Schools in Los Angeles. He took on many non-instructional duties that principals had traditionally managed, freeing them up to focus on academics and instruction. As he revamped operations and budgeting in six schools, significantly more dollars were being driven into the classroom. At the same time, he coached his principals to effectively use data to make budgetary decisions, empowering them to identify and expand programs that were working for their teachers and students.
Nolberto now serves as chief operating officer for LA Promise Fund, an organization that aims to improve student outcomes and college going in Los Angeles Unified School District while offering a host of resources and services for students and their families. Their results have been, well, promising. Across two high schools and a middle school, instructional days lost to suspensions have decreased by 90 percent or more and student achievement has risen steadily. LA Promise fund has recently established a middle school of their own and plans to open a high school in 2017.
For Nolberto, the ultimate beneficiaries of his work inspire him to push for better. “What you’re doing is impacting kids,” he said. “You’re not the teacher, but you’re creating bandwidth for a teacher or a principal. You’re creating strategic direction for a school. You’re having immediate, tangible impact. That’s big for your stakeholders.”
The Broad Residency
Class of 2012-2014
Residency Role: Cluster business manager, Green Dot Public Schools, Los Angeles
M.B.A., Loyola Marymount University College of Business Administration
B.A., chemistry and Spanish, University of Southern California